16.01.24, 18:00, Kameelah Janan Rasheed

On Opacity

Do all artworks speak to everybody? Should they? How do artists and curators mediate their legibility/illegibility? How might writing, translating and critiquing be implicated in producing modes of knowing and unknowing? And how do we give space to the potential for misunderstanding? Focusing on the materiality and legibility of text, writing, and language as well as the potential of intermedial translation, New York-based Artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed will introduce her practice as a way exploring some of these questions and others that we're considering as part of the Curating and Writing module. Rasheed will specifically focus on the subject of opacity in relation to writing and making work, and anchor her lecture in Tina Post's recently published book, Deadpan: The Aesthetics of Black Inexpression (2023).


Kameelah Janan Rasheed (she/they) was born in East Palo Alto, CA, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Rasheed holds an MA in Secondary Social Studies Education from Stanford University (2008) and a BA in Public Policy from Pomona College (2006). She was an Amy Biehl U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (2006–7). A lifelong learner, Rasheed engages with the poetics, pleasures, and politics of Black knowledge production, information technologies, [un]learning, and belief formation. They are interested in the rituals and technologies we use to generate, share, and conceal knowledge.

Rasheed’s work has been exhibited nationally at institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum, the New Museum, MASS MoCA, the Queens Museum, the Bronx Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Brooklyn Historical Society. Internationally, her work has been exhibited at NOME, Transmission Gallery in Glasgow, Kunsthalle Wien, Bétonsalon Centre d'art et de recherche in Paris, Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, Artspace Peterborough, the 57th Venice Biennial, and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, among others. Her public installations have appeared at Ballroom Marfa, the Brooklyn Museum, For Freedoms x Times Square Art in New York, Public Art Fund in New York, Moody Center for the Arts in Houston, The California Air Resources Board, and several others.

Rasheed is the author of three artist’s books: An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations (Endless Editions, 2019), No New Theories (Printed Matter, 2019), and the digital

publication Scoring the Stacks (Brooklyn Public Library, 2021). Her writing, including long-form essays and interviews, has appeared in Triple Canopy, The New Inquiry, Shift Space, Active Cultures, and The Believer.

She is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts and a 2022 Creative Capital Awardee.

For the 2021-2022 school year, she is an adjunct at the School of Visual Arts - MFA Fine Arts (2016–present) and The Cooper Union (2022-present). In 2021, she was a Core Critic at Yale School of Art - MFA Painting and Printmaking, as well as a Program Mentor for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s low-residency MFA Program (2021–present). Additionally, for the 2021–22 school year, she is the inaugural Douglass Discovery Arts Fellow at Rutgers University’s Douglass Residential College and Mason Gross School of Arts.

Free admission. Kameelah Janan Rasheed gives this lecture online moderated by Eliel Jones, but you are welcome to come and follow them in auditorium Cirque along with Curatorial Studies students. It is part of the 'Curating and Writing' module.
Campus Bijloke
Louis Pasteurlaan 2
9000 Gent